Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Satan tries to destroy God’s people again, but loses and is ultimately defeated.
“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:13–17).
There was war on earth! This sentence alone should give us pause because the Bible says that the earth is God’s footstool. As we discovered yesterday, the devil lost the war in heaven. He was cast out with his wicked spiritual compatriots. We jumped to the end of the story and alluded to the fact that the devil would lose the war on earth too, but we will see today that he will not go down without a fight.
The Bible says that when the devil was cast down to the earth since there was no place found for him in heaven anymore, he immediately targeted the one whom Jesus loved the most—His woman. We discovered yesterday that a woman in symbolic Bible prophecy is God’s people, whether faithful or unfaithful, depending upon the context.
We can actually get a foretaste of Satan’s wrath and deception from the incident in the Garden of Eden. As you may recall, Adam and Eve had already gotten their marching orders from God regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They were not to eat from it or else they would die. Satan, with all of His sophistry deceived Eve into believing his word instead of God’s. Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and gave some to Adam. They both ate, and the pall of death has hung over planet earth until now. Eve’s son Abel was killed by her other son Cain. For whatever reason, Cain cherished an envious, prideful spirit, which ended in killing his own brother who chose to follow God’s commandment regarding the righteous sacrifice. This story has an eerily familiar plot considering our prophecy focus for today.
As in the case of Eve, the devil targeted the people of God, since he could not get his filthy hands on God Himself. He also targeted her offspring, Jesus. You may recall that when king Herod heard that a special child king was born under his jurisdiction, he put a hit out on all children in baby Jesus’ age group, hoping to get Jesus in the net. Obviously, the Father did not allow that to happen. Jesus was divinely protected from an early grave, so He could fulfill His mission to save us from our sins.
We will address the details of these historical facts in future devotional thoughts, but for a period of 1,260 long years God’s people were hunted and killed, because they, like Abel chose to follow God’s commands rather than man’s. Ironically, they were murdered by a power who claimed to be God’s people too, much like Cain who came from the Adam and Eve family, yet killed his own brother. While the devil sent a flood of enemies in an attempt to utterly destroy the faithful of God, their blood, which cried from the ground like Abel’s served as seed to grow and increase their numbers. As they increased, there was a special group who were scattered all over the world, who relish the Ten Commandments of God and trust in God’s sure words of prophecy in the last days. God preserved His name on the earth, and what the enemy meant for evil, somehow God miraculously turned into good. He will soon reward the devil’s onslaught. He will be destroyed, along with all of his evil agencies in due time.
The truth is, no matter how angry and violent the devil gets, he cannot utterly destroy God’s people any more than he could keep Jesus in the tomb.
Even if some of us lose our lives, like the countless martyrs of old beginning with righteous Abel, the Lord has promised to raise us from the grave and give us immortality when He returns (1 Corinthians 15:51-57). One day soon (sooner than you or I may believe), we will finally experience the eternal rest that Jesus guaranteed with the seed of His precious blood and the power of His resurrection. I look forward to that day. I certainly hope you do to.
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, we need your strength to get through the trials that are coming our way. Can you please preserve us for yourself? In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.